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18 July 1st, 2013 One Life to Live’s Hillary B. Smith & Robert S. Woods On Production Halt and Resolution, Writing of Bo and Nora & OLTL Losing at The Emmys!


The most popular duo of all-time on One Life to Live ( except probably Viki and Dorian) are clearly Bo and Nora played brilliantly by Daytime Emmy winners, Hillary B. Smith and Robert S. Woods! 

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with the duo last week during a press junket to ask three burning questions we wanted to know … how did the twosome feel when they heard the news of the early hiatus that was imposed by the labor union, which may have meant the end for the series, but in the end turned out A. O.K?  How do they feel about how their characters have been written for? And, why do they think One Life get no love ever at the Daytime Emmys when they had two amazing submissions, their finale on ABC?

Here now is what they had to say below. We think you will be touched by what Hillary had to say to the crew at One Life and more!  Fans are thrilled that in August, Bob and Hillary will be back at One Life shooting new episodes as life in Llanview continues, thanks to the resolution of the dispute and Prospect Park’s efforts.

When you heard about the labor dispute between the Union and Prospect Park and received the news that the production of One Life to Live had to suspend a week earlier than anticipated … what were you thoughts? Did you think it could be even feasible that One Life would get shut down a second time within its life span, the first being its cancellation by ABC?  Or, did you think it would all work itself out in the end?

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

HILLARY:  I started laughing.  I really did.  I started laughing. I looked at Woodsy and was giggling.

ROBERT:  We were actually working and we had to go back and shoot scenes, and my phone rang and there was an email, really a brief statement.  I leaned out the door and said to people, “Did anyone else just get an email?” And then when we were on the set it was like, “What do we do now?”  Hillary, you were not ready to see it go? You did not believe it would happen, did you?

HILLARY:  Well, I spoke. You heard what I said to the crew. I wanted to go on record, because I wasn’t sure how this was going to play out and there were a lot of dynamics that went on the weeks prior before both sides started talking. And, I had seen the guys walk out the door of the studio. And I went, “Oh, I don’t think that’s good.”  I was with our costume designer, Susan Gammie getting a fitting and then Robert Gorrie (Matthew) came in and showed me the email.  There was a part of me that went, “This just can’t happen again. It just can’t!” And then there was another part of me that went, “It could.”    When we did our then last scene, and we had to be out by 11am, and we finished at 10:15.  I got up and spoke and said on behalf of everyone in the scene, “It has been an honor and privilege to be part of this reboot,” and I truly believe that. It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of this reboot to see Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, and Jennifer Pepperman and Ginger Smith, pour all of their heart and soul into this, and the staff and the crew.  I said, “We are a family.  It’s been wonderful to come to be with our family again. And, for those of you who weren’t a part of it before, you are now. We are family and this is what coming to work means.”   I just wanted everyone to know that, and I wasn’t sure if that was my “goodbye”, but I wanted them to know how touched I was by this whole experience, and being part of it.

ROBERT:  So now when we get back, Hillary you can say, “See, what I told you guys?”

Recently, there were new head writers appointed for One Life to Live, whose work fans will not see until the show resumes production later in summer.  How do you feel about how your characters were written for thus far?

ROBERT:  Jennifer Pepperman is still there, and she is not going to let anyone get to off track!  I have been happy thus far on how they have written the Bo and Nora relationship. I haven’t had any real grievances with things I have bee asked to do, or the way it was written.  I think they have written pretty well.  I am always concerned more about the police department which feels like it has saloon doors, where anybody can just walk in and out! (Laughs) That stuff does not apply! Try walking down to the 20th precinct in New York City.

HILLARY:  I have been ecstatic the way they have been writing Nora. I feel light as a bird and unfettered, and not carrying any major heartache around. So this is nothing but sheer joy.

Two weekends ago, One Life to Live was nominated for its final time in its ABC version for Outstanding Drama Series for the last two episodes of its historic run at the 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  The last episode featured those heartfelt moments between Bo and Nora, and Bo and his son, Matthew.  The episodes were brilliant, and yet, once again, One Life left the Emmys with no cigar, or shall we say no gold!  Why do you think this show can’t ever catch a break for the big award of the night?

HILLARY:  Politics are huge when it comes to Emmys.  I don’t think One Life to Live had any political support when it comes to winning an Emmy.  As a matter of fact, if it had won Outstanding Drama Series that would have been a kind of … ahem… awkward moment for ABC.   I love the fact that Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati were nominated for two shows.   I thought that was great.    I am sorry that they didn’t win.  I don’t quite understand how the voting system works anymore.  All I know is, it was a win for our fans.

ROBERT:   I did not know the Emmys were even on a few Sunday nights ago until I got a text from Eddie Alderson (Ex-Matthew), telling me that Kristen Alderson (Ex-Starr, OLTL and GH, now Kiki, GH) had won! That is great! And I got a great picture of Eddie who looked like a movie star there!  He had a tuxedo on, but he was wearing it the way you are supposed to wear a tux, with a tie! He looked great.  I was texting him back as I was watching the NBA finals, so I never caught the Emmy telecast.  I was trying to find a replay of it, but I guess I was too late.

So One Life fans, what do you think about Hillary’s speech to her cast mates and crew? Could you imagine having to say goodbye to One Life for a second time?  How do you feel Bo and Nora have been written for thus far?  What do you think about One Life’s loss at the Emmys  … political as Hillary feels?  Share your comments below!



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  1. Dennis says:

    They are both class acts!


    susan M. replied

    I agree!


  2. jimh(leave it to beaver) says:

    I didnt feel the labor dispute meant the end…just a delay. Also, you dont need an award to prove your a winner(but oltl still shouldve for that final year)…oltl has the support of its fans…its on the air again…its doing well proving it still has ‘life’ and the genre isnt dead…and so the winner is…oltl(and its fans too!)


  3. rebecca says:

    Love Bo and Nora. So glad they’re back. When the reboot first aired I thought that they were not seen enough. When they were seen…for me they didn’t “feel” the same. I didn’t like Bo yelling…he was never that harsh on ABC. He was not warm…there was just something missing. Was disappointed in the writing for both of them.

    But!!! Recently, as in maybe the last two weeks, they seem much like their “old selves.” The playfulness is back, the flirting, the sort of easy breezy rapport…the family feel with Nora’s attempted dinner with Destiny and Matthew.

    I think it’s unfortunate. I’ve posted this before but I think the now-dismissed writers went about their initial storytelling the wrong way and caused a lot (not everyone…) but a lot of fan dissatisfaction with the writing. Shelter was over-emphasized, the cursing, the yelling, the disjointed segments, the lack of connection between characters who on ABC were close…the lack of reaction to Victor’s return.

    In the past few weeks, it seems like it’s starting to gel. There’s more cast interaction, less Shelter, not as much swearing…and for me it feels more like the original. Clint is up to his old ways, Natalie is actually “feeling” and reacting rather than just rubbing up against Cutter (llove Cutter) and taking her clothes off. I’d like to see them together…but it just happened out of the blue.

    I feel the writers went for the “here’s what we can do now online” instead of developing story at the beginning.

    If it had started out the way the current episodes are running from day one I think there would have been less disappointment and much more enthusiasm from MOST as opposed to maybe half of the fans.

    They’re on the right track now…but unfortunately the writers are out. I’m hoping that the new group on board can maintain and go beyond so that the old and new feel right for most. And now I feel bad for the fired writer….LOL..maybe he can contribute once they all get a feel for the direction…


  4. CTwildheart says:

    I don’t even want to THINK about saying goodbye to these shows again….


  5. Beacon says:

    The shows are not going anywhere. I’m not scared. I’m GLAAD!


    Llanviewer717 replied



  6. Monica says:

    With anything in life, the worst can happen. But they are all professionals and they’ve been so gracious thus far with the fans. I just want OLTL and AMC to get nominated next year and win an Emmy or two just to shove it in ABC’s face!

    And I love that Robert S. Woods and Eddie Alderson are still in touch. So adorable.


  7. Llanviewer717 says:

    I’ve always felt that OLTL is extremely under appreciated when it comes to the Emmys. It has always had the strongest cast. I love the way characters develop. And story lines unfold beautifully. Each time a cast member wins an Emmy I am thrilled. I hope the show will take the top prize someday.


    susan M. replied

    I feel the same way…


  8. Edna Barefoot says:

    Michael you know OLTL is my 2nd family. When the news broke about the union mess I didn’t let it scare me. Kept my belief in them returning. Hillary did a wonderful thing saying bye after all they have been through with PP. I believe ABC has always played OLTL down. Several years OLTL was overlooked. I believe ABC for some reason has always pushed AMC & GH over OLTL & I just don’t know why. Cancelling our shows must have been in ABC plans for years. OLTL was still making money so they play them down ever if it meant DIRTY POLITICS. I still hate ABC.


    susan M. replied

    ABC is garbage! I hope OLTL wins nt. time and that would really stick it to ABC!


    Tali replied

    I agree ABC stinks!!


  9. blake says:

    Sucks about the Emmys, it’s never been perfect but it’s gotten worse probably the last decade.


    susan M. replied

    I agrre. I rememeber much better daytime emmy’s years ago..And OLTL won those years ago(for one Erika Slezak)! Don’t care for the emmy’s lately…


    blake replied

    Yeah those were the days!

  10. su0000 says:

    Loved this;

    Politics are huge when it comes to Emmy s. I don’t think One Life to Live had any political support when it comes to winning an Emmy. As a matter of fact, if it had won Outstanding Drama Series that would have been a kind of … ahem… awkward moment for ABC. ”’
    It is very close as to what I have thought for past years, and I am happy someone actually told told it like it is..
    The awards are network Politics ..


  11. Sue says:

    Love the two of them.


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